In a meeting yesterday, one of my peers was describing a request our department received for training and when our manager said she didn’t think it was training they needed, my peer expressed relief with a and-i-did-the-happy-dance under her breath. But, I’m wondering, why would she express relief in that way? Training is her job, not just her job, but her career. She’s been in this department for something like 10 years – in this line of work for something like 20. Is she so tired of it that she’s relieved every time she’s told she doesn’t have to do it? What would she rather be doing all day, if not training? Has she always felt reluctant to develop training? If so, why does she choose to get up every day and come back here…if not for the paycheck?
On a similar note, I was reading a blog post by a friend recently where she was questioning people’s choices and society’s reaction to those choices. She described a scenario where 2 women made different life choices – one got married, had children, got divorced, is now being empathized with and supported by her friends and family – the other chose not to get married or have kids but instead get a degree and a well paying job, thus not garnering sympathy from said friends and family. There was obviously some bitterness there and I think she was talking about her sister, but my point is she was acting like these were all well thought out choices and my first thought was that she’s assuming falling in love is a choice. Talking to my father-in-law recently about peoples relationship choices, he said, quite wisely I think, that you can’t help who you fall in love with. How true is that? Really? Do you think that’s true?
Back to my coworker – does everyone really have the ability to choose their career? I don’t necessarily think so. Some people get to a point in their life where they need to support themselves or their family, so they find the best thing available to them. I know that’s what I did. But you can choose whether you like it or not. I truly believe that. If you don’t feel you can find another source of income, then you find a way to enjoy what you’re doing…or you don’t.
I have sympathy for those who don’t choose the happier option.